limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

Please sign up for my email list to get updates and notifications for contests and giveaways!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dark Sucks...So does spam!

Hi all, just wanted to let you know I've taken the hateful step of requiring a "word verification" in order to post a comment on the blog. I can't stand those stupid things. However, some awesome denizens of the internet have decided my blog is the best place to relentlessly spam useless crap.

If you are like me, you might have taken a moment to wonder why the heck spam still exists. I mean, it might have seemed like a good idea when people didn't know what spam was and were suckered into clicking on links...but surely everyone knows how to identify spam and hates it as much as I do?!

A quick Google search linked me to "E-Commerce News" which tells me that spam exists...because it is effective. If I was Elvis I'd put a bullet through my monitor right this second...even though I have two monitors and could keep writing this post...I'm so reasonable I'm not even shooting one...but oh so tempted. Are you freaking kidding me? Effective?!

No wonder the world in in chaos. I blame all our problems on the people who are clicking on spam links. Not only is spam effective, 11% of those nasty spam clickers actually (deliberately) spent money on the garbage the spam linked to! Oh but wait, there is more. Roughly 90% of those people who spent ripped off. Who would have seen THAT one coming? Sigh. I'm afraid I've run out of motivational angst and have lapsed into apathy.

Just remember, if you get an email from Prince Alyusi Islassis in Nigeria, please send him all of your bank information...and if you do, please consider emigrating there yourself. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Ti Pocket Clip Wins an Award!

Hi all, I was pretty excited to hear my Titanium Surefire Pocket Clip won "Best Accessory" for 2012 over at Everyday Commentary. Cool right?

Best Accessory: Prometheus Pocket Clip

"The best accessories make the main product better than it was before, but the truly elite gear is something that seems like it should have been included in the first place.  The Prometheus Pocket Clip is the best flashlight clip on the planet, bar none.


It is better than my old favorite, the McGizmo clip, because it is just as secure and can be added and removed from a light without tools.  It is simply, unquestionably the best design out there.  Its so good that absent a few tritium inserts I can't think of a way to make it better.  The titantium is very flexible and smooth cut with a perfect amount of tension.  Let me put it bluntly: if you own a light compatible with this clip buy it.  " -- Everyday Commentary

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blue Label Wait List...sign up now!

It's come to my attention that I may have mistakenly directed people to this email list instead of the wait list. I have already sent out a confirmation email to everyone on the wait list (check your spam). If you didn't get the email and think you should be on the wait list, then please follow this link and sign up. If you received the email, there is no need to sign up again.

If this is news to you and you still want to be on the wait list, by all means, sign up :) I'll be releasing a batch of Blue-Label lights on (or around) January 1. People on the wait list will be notified of new stock (and emailed a special purchase link) 48 hours before the lights are released for general sale on my website. If they sell out, then no stock goes up on the site.

I'll be releasing a limited number of Blue-Label lights each month... basically what I'll have time to build. Right now the plan is to do 5 lights in each finish, so a maximum of 15 lights per month. Ready-Made lights will continue to be "in stock" and ship within (most of the time) 48 hours. I'm going to be working on a few big projects this year and I need to have time to actually get them going.

  1. A pen based around the Montblanc Fineliner and Rollerball cartridge
  2. A "AAA" sized light with the Nichia 219 "High Color Rendering" LED
  3. The last one is still a related...but not a flashlight :) 

Monday, December 24, 2012

A monkey in your mailbox...

That's a catchy title right? Don't worry, we are talking digital monkeys.

Merry Christmas!

I've signed up with MailChimp to help streamline my workflow. That's a fancy way of saying, my blog will now send you an email if there is a new post and you've signed up for the mailing list. In the past, I've sent out "announcement" type emails separately. If you wanted blog content, then you had to (separately) visit the blog and/or sign up specifically for email updates.

Monkeys love email! Or so I hear. 
I hope this is a positive improvement, and I've merged those lists and now all updates will take the form of blog posts, which will get pushed to your email inbox automatically. Basically this saves me from managing multiple lists and trying to remember where I'm supposed to publish what information. It will also mean those of you on the mailing list will actually get emails from time to time :)

How will we know if it's working? This post (yes this very one) should trigger MailChimp to send you this post in an email at 6:00AM Pacific time tomorrow. You will not get an email if I have not posted any new content during the day. Of course if you have not already signed up on the mailing list you won't be getting any Christmas email from Prometheus Lights! If you feel left out, you can go here and get on the spankin' new mailing list :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lotsa Lights

Well, it has been a very long day. I put my wife and son on a plane this afternoon. We are spending the holiday with her family in Texas, but I stayed behind for a few days to get these lights out. Fortunately our boy was an angel on the flight :)

This is the second half of the blasted and polished batch. Now all I have to do is get them in the mail! These should all be shipped out tomorrow...except for two that I need to finish up. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Workstation Upgrade

I finally invested in a set of professional, rack mounted bins to keep all of my assembly parts organized. I used to use little trays from the kitchen section at the hardware store. Not bad, but not great :) It's a lot easier to have everything within arms reach, but up off of the desk. Horizontal surface is always scarce in a shop :) I also got a fume filter which is that black box on a wire stand, just below the desk lamp. I've been doing a lot of soldering and getting headaches that last a few days. Not sure if it's the fumes, an old skiing injury, or a combination of both. The fume filter still seemed like a good idea :)

You didn't miss the Prometheus wall clock did you?

Stacking/hanging bins from Akro-Mills

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NEW FEATURE: Alpha Primary Seal Ring (PSR)

As you know by now, I can't leave well enough alone. I pressure tested my lights to 300 feet for 5 hours...but that's just not good enough is it? What can make the Alpha even more bullet proof (water bullets)? Enter the Alpha Primary Seal Ring (PSR). It doesn't increase the depth rating, but it should extend the exposure time and improve the sealing performance under extreme physical conditions, like impact, vibration, temperature, altitude, and submersion.

Actually, it would be cool to carry an Alpha up to the snowy summit of a mountain and then down to the ocean and into a 300ft scuba dive. Anyone want to meet me in New Zealand?

The PSR makes the front seal 110% effective (that's a guesstimate)
As far as I know, this is also a completely novel method for sealing a flashlight. Patent worthy even, but now I've done it, since I posted this picture it can't be anyone...and I think that's fair :) I digress.

This ring is custom made from 302 stainless steel, just for me, by Smalley Steel Ring Co. out of Lake Zurich, Illinois. It is now a standard feature on all Alpha lights. It does make it a little harder to remove the o-ring and get to the lens, but you should really never need to do this unless the glass get broken or severely scratched over time.

Just in case you feel the urge, you'll need four things: o-ring pick, bent nose pliers, a replacement o-ring, and the link to this video. The pick and pliers are included with the Journeyman Package. They can also be purchased separately.

I do want to note, this seal is not absolutely necessary. I tested my light to 300 feet for 5 hours without the PSR in place. Unless your light is routinely in wet environments, I wouldn't worry about it. However, I want to send out a light that is as close to 100% reliable as possible, and this checks off one of the boxes that has been bothering me.

The PSR will be available as an optional upgrade for all existing Alphas, but not until the new year when things quiet down a bit. Please don't email me until then or I will just forget :) Alpha-Blue label owners, this is a free upgrade!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blue-Label lights are shipping...Now!

Hi folks, you read that right! I should have all Stone Washed lights out by Monday. Brushed lights should be shipped out by Wednesday. Blasted & Polished should start shipping on Thursday and be complete by Monday December 17th. You'll get automated shipping notices when I print your shipping labels. If any international customers want expedited shipping or tracking and insurance (via FedEx), please email me. My standard Priority Mail only has delivery confirmation, no tracking or insurance.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Parts ready for tumbling !

These are heads for the blasted and polished lights.

So far...Parts machined, washed, plugged, tumbled 4 hours in medium grit plastic media, washed, tumbled 6 hours in fine grit plastic media, unplugged, washed, dried, plugged, and now ready for 10 hours in walnut shell and polishing rouge for the final high polish. The tailcaps have already gone through this process. Sheesh, is that it?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

VIDEO: Shop-Made Pneumatic Press

Hi folks, just a quick YouTube video of a pneumatic press I made to provide the correct pressure when setting the thermal adhesive tape I use to mount the LEDs in my lights.